Chiapas: further controversy surrounding the EZLN in Mexican newspapers

“Masked to unmask the power that humiliates them” states a mural at the zapatista Caracol of La Garrucha.

On 27 March, the daily newspaper Reforma ran a story in which a putative ex-member of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) who claims to have held a high position in the Zapatista organization “revealed” that there exists a relationship between the EZLN and the Basque separatist group ETA.  In the anonymously written article, the Mexican newspaper claims to have received a “lengthy document” comprised of 83 pages that include several photos that reportedly detail the structure of the EZLN, its finances, armaments, and international support.

According to the text supposedly received by Reforma, “foreign visitors from Italy or the Basque Country […] presented 150,000 Euros to the the Autonomous Councils” of the EZLN; the date of this reported act goes unmentioned.  The article also mentions that “Some say that in recent days [the Italian/Basque visitors] presented 750,000 and later an additional 350,000 Euros to the Good-Government Council (JBG) of La Garrucha, where the most important EZLN military settlement is found.”

The article went on to claim that military training takes place in La Garrucha; it features photographs of weapons cache said to pertain to the EZLN that includes AK-47s, AR-15s, FALs, SKSs, G-3s, M2s, M16s, M1s and Mark1s, as well as pistols of 45 caliber, 9 mm y .38, among others.

The supposed EZLN ex-militant also “revealed” several cellular numbers and photos of an unmasked Subcomandante Marcos in addition to EZLN members and foreigners said to be from ETA.

Responding to the question “What is the goal sought in publishing in Reforma an article based on information that comes from a presumed deserter of the EZLN?” the PRD federal representative José Narro Céspedes, coordinator of the COCOPA (Commission for Agreement and Pacification) claimed:  “To begin with, to grant the eight columns of the front-page and an entire page of dubious origin, [which] lies and misrepresents in speaking of political intention–or to have a pretext for some repressive action.”

In a 31 March article in La Jornada, Magda Gómez for her part asks “What can we say lies behind the linking of zapatismo with an organization such as ETA?  Why is it not mentioned that Subcomandate Marcos has rejected all forms of terrorism, whatever be their origin, in a series of controversial letters written to ETA itself?”

“In addition, this accusation also criminalizes the European non-governmental organizations that have given economic support to the Good Government Councils and puts them in the sights of the Spanish government.”

This is not a minor happening, as it is reminiscent of 9 February 1995; the difference this time is that we don’t know if the attack will be only from the media, or if it in some ways previews major actions to be taken by the Mexican state–a possibility that we cannot rule out.”

Yesterday, April 1, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) shared the reply of Leuccio Rizzo, whose face was shown on the front-page of Reforma as being that of Subcomandante Marcos.  In its communiqué, the CDHFBC states that “this Human-Rights Center knows Leuccio Rizzo to be a person in solidarity with the people, and so it concerns us that the daily newspaper Reforma […] would publish information devoid of substance that violates articles 11 and 14 of the American Convention on Human Rights and serves as a counter-insurgency measure used by the Mexican State to identify and criminalize human-rights defenders.”

To read Leuccio Rizzo’s response to the Reforma newspaper (in Spanish):

Clarification and reply by Leuccio Rizzo

For more information (in Spanish):

Counter-insurgency:  I don’t know for sure…  I assume it is so (La Jornada, 30 March)

Ex-Zapatista reveals supposed links between the EZLN and ETA, according to daily Mexican newspaper

Ex-militant reveals that the EZLN will receive financial assistance from ETA (Univisión, 27 March)

This is the supposed ‘subcomandante Marcos’ (El, 27 March)

Subcomandante Marcos is stripped (Tabasco Hoy, 27 March)

Other articles available on Indymedia

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